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BREAKING NEWS: Non-league goalkeeper accused of rape in Watford

 Published on: 13th May 2024   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A goalkeeper, whose team had just won the FA Vase, raped a woman in a hotel room after sending naked images of her to his teammates, a jury heard today (Monday, May 13).

Michael Emery, who was celebrating Warrington Rylands non-league cup final victory at Wembley Stadium, allegedly sent a message with a picture and asked: “Anyone want a go?”

St Albans Crown Court heard the complainant had been invited to join the team’s celebrations at the Grove Hotel in Watford on May 22, 2021.

Prosecutor Charlotte Newell KC told the jury that Mr Emery, known as Mikey, had been the winning team’s reserve goalkeeper. She said: “During the evening she (the complainant) struck up a rapport with the defendant. He invited her to sleep in his hotel room and she accepted.”

Ms Newell said Mr Emery, now 33, and the woman had been drinking. She had drunk 6 or 7 bottles of Moretti between 5 pm and 1 am and was “merry, but not drunk.”

Afterwards, she went to sleep naked in one of the two single beds in the room with Michael Emery in the other, the jury heard.

Ms Newell said: “While she was asleep Mr Emery demonstrated his total disregard for the autonomy and consent of the woman he had intercourse with by taking photographs of her naked without her knowledge and distributing them, shortly before 4 am, amongst his teammates in two group chats comprising in the region of about 70 participants.”

The prosecutor said: “She knew nothing of this and would never have consented to such pictures being taken.”

At 3.43 am, Emery sent an image of the sleeping complainant to a group called “GK training” standing for goalkeeper training, it was said. He allegedly sent the same image to another chat group called “Rylands first team” with a message saying ‘Anyone want a go?’ followed by a laughing crying emoji.

Mr Emery sent a further photograph at 4.12 am Her face was not visible. The prosecutor said that it was taken surreptitiously without her knowledge or consent.

Ms Newell went on: “During the night he woke her by biting her and saying that he wanted sex. She said she did not want to have sex, but he went ahead regardless. She went back to sleep and woke again to find him biting her. She pretended to be asleep in the hope that he would desist but he carried on again without her consent or any reasonable belief that she was consenting.”

Mr Emery of Signet Square, Coventry denies two charges of rape and one of disclosing private sexual photographs or films without consent with intent to cause distress.

Ms Newell said when the complainant returned home she saw her bruised body and spoke to medical professionals and friends.

She spoke to the football club’s chairman Mark Pye in the summer of 2021 as she was aware Emery was connected to a women’s team and felt the players should be safeguarded.

Ms Newell said: “It was during that conversation she learned Mr Emery had also taken and distributed naked pictures of her without her consent.”

The woman went to the police on August 16, 2021 and gave a recorded interview on September 8 that year.

When questioned by the police Emery made a statement in which he said that they had penetrative sex three times which was consensual. He said he was bruised on his chest where she had bitten him and had one on his groin where she had given him a “love bite.”

Ms Newell said: “There were two instances of sexual intercourse during the night which she did not consent to and which he could have had no reasonable belief that she did because she verbally articulated that on the first occasion and played dead during the second. Mr Emery on the other hand asserts that all sexual contact was with consent and enthusiastic participation when she was fully awake – once  before she went to sleep and second after they woke in the morning.”

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